With respect to the Nov. 25 news story "DEA Agents Caught in Standoff," which reported that U.S. agents were surrounded by gunmen, allegedly including Mexican state police:

The government of Tamaulipas initiated an investigation on Nov. 9 to determine if any present or former state police agents were involved.

At the same time, the Tamaulipas state attorney general's office is working closely with Mexico's federal special prosecutor for anti-narcotics and with the FBI's supervisor for the U.S. border region. We at the state attorney general's office have made available a database of photographs for the purpose of identifying potential suspects, and we stand ready to help in any other way. Furthermore, the office is fully cooperating in the investigation initiated by the federal special prosecutor.

In the 10 months of its current administration, Tamaulipas has shown its commitment to building a law enforcement body of integrity and the highest standards of professionalism. To date, it has terminated 1,400 officers who did not meet our standards.

This alleged incident is a federal matter, and accounts of state police involvement have not been corroborated. But Tamaulipas will continue to combat crime and will punish to the full extent of the law police officers who do not protect our citizens and who disobey the law.

EDUARDO GARZA RIVAS

Attorney General

State of Tamaulipas

Ciudad Victoria, Mexico